“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
When I acknowledged and finally started exploring my poly side I was single, and I embarked on the journey of finding out what poly meant to me with the intent of staying that way. I would have partners of course, partners that I loved, but my primary focus would be me. For the first time in my life I put as much value on getting to know myself as I had always put on getting to know others.This was my time, time to learn about who I was as a person, what I wanted out of life, and what I needed to be truly happy. I decided that however long it took I needed to learn to make my life about me, instead of continuing to let it only be about the people that were in it.
It did not take as long as I expected. It turns out that who I am, what I want, and what I need really aren’t that complicated, and that I was a lot closer to being happy with myself than I thought. All I needed was to turn the full power of my focus onto myself for just a little bit to find out that I really do like who I am, and that it really doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. Good friends, new experiences, open conversation, stimulating work, creative outlets, opportunities to explore, a social life, a healthy and happy family, and love. Lot’s and lots of love. That’s it, personal journey complete. But what did that mean for my poly journey?
Almost a year ago I met a man with whom I shared an instant connection. Over the course of several months we developed a deep friendship, the kind that lets you talk about anything, from current affairs to pop culture to the most traumatic moments of your life. Although there was interest on both sides the friendship didn’t turn physical for quite a while. When it did he was one of three partners I had at the time, and it was with the intent that I would be splitting my time and my attention equally between them.
I could not have anticipated the depth of feeling that would develop between us. I already loved him as a friend long before our dynamic changed, but I had no way of knowing how much that love would grow once we removed all the barriers and opened ourselves fully to one another. The amount of love and support and warmth I feel in this relationship is more than I have ever felt before, and rather than being overwhelming or smothering or all encompassing it is uplifting and inspiring. I feel even more like myself and more free to continue to change and grow and explore now than I did before ‘me’ became ‘we’. I wasn’t looking for a primary partner, but I couldn’t be happier that I have found one.
Over the last few months my other relationships have come to an end. Not because they were influenced in any way by my new outlook, but because they each came to their own natural conclusion. They have either run their course or changed their course, and I have never been a believer that all romantic relationships are meant to last forever. I took a break from meeting new people to give time to my new relationship, but I still identify as poly. I still want deep connections with multiple people, and I fully expect that I will add new partners in the future. This time my approach will be different, and what I want will be different, but the desire to connect and love as much as possible will still be there. The focus will no longer just be on what I need, but on what works for us. And that most definitely works for me.